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Natural Gardening and Companion Planting

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posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:06 PM
Companion planting
In order to get the maximum food/nutrition value out of your garden, plant your seeds next to others that will add value to their neighboring plants.

Yarrow tends to increase the essential oil content of most herbs which gives them more flavor and nutrition.

Some plants go well together and others must not be planted anywhere near each other. They are not all mutually beneficial either. For example: lettuce is a good companion for onions but onions, while not harmful to, are not the best companion to lettuce. Some companions simply provide pest control for their neighbors but, that too, is a useful function. Some provide shade for their companions at a crucial stage of growth and serve as good neighbors that way.

Most preppers probably don't care why some plants work well together; we have enough to cram into our brains as it is, but there are reasons for all these pairings. Once you determine what you're going to put into your garden, look to see which companions will offer more of what you want out of a plant. For instance, if you prefer your bell peppers for ornamental purposes, you may want to companion plant marigolds for aphid control rather than carrots which improve the flavor of the pepper.

Good companions for asparagus are tomato and parsley.

Companions for (most all) beans are carrots, beets, cauliflower, cucumbers, cabbage, leeks, celery, or spinach.

Cabbage is benefited by the companion planting of dill, camomile, sage, rosemary, beets, tomatoes, hyssop, hemp, peppermint, spinach. Obviously, an easy-to-please plant.

Carrots pair with peas, leaf lettuce, chives, red radish, salsify, or leeks.

Cauliflower companions with celery.

Chervil will benefit from radishes.

Corn goes well with potatoes, beans, peas, pumpkin, cucumber.

Eggplants next to green beans.

Flax likes carrots and potatoes. (who doesn't?)

Lettuce benefits from radish, kohlrabi, strawberry, carrots, cabbage, beets.

Marigold (calendula, not tagetes) is improved with roses, tomatoes, potatoes, or beans.

Garlic companions with roses, parsley, minonette, lupines.

Peppermint benefits from stinging nettle or yarrow.

Potatoes grow well with horseradish, beans, corn, cabbage, peas, flax, or nasturtiums nearby.

Hyssop likes grapes or cabbage.

Onions are egalitarian plants but especially like beets, strawberry, tomato, green beans, camomile, savory, lettuce or carrots.

Kohlrabi goes well with beets or onions.

Melons prefer morning glory plants nearby.

Broccoli improves with nasturtiums.

Nasturtiums reciprocate with broccoli, radish and potatoes. They also do well with tomatoes.

Parsley companions with roses, tomatoes.

Peppers go with buckwheat, eggplant, marjoram, basil, onions, carrots, spinach, lovage.

Peas like radish, carrots, cucumbers, corn, beans, turnips.

Radishes do well with peas, nasturtium, lettuce, or chervil.

Rosemary goes with sage, carrots, or yarrow.

Spinach companions with strawberry, lettuce, borage.

Tomato likes carrots, borage, onion, asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, basil, or spinach.

Plants to avoid pairing

Just as some plants are benefited by a helpful neighbor, some are harmed. Fennel seems to be an antisocial plant that prevents good growth of several plants. I keep it in a separate part of the garden where it won't bother any of the others.

Instead of trying to plant grass on that bald spot under your apple or spruce tree where it won't grow, try tossing out the wild morrel rinse water next time you forage for 'shrooms. The bald spot will be gone and your next trip for foraged morels will be a lot closer to home due to all the spores in the rinse water.

Apricot trees don't do well with oats, spruce or tomatoes nearby.

Anise avoids wormwood.

Barley doesn't do well with velvet grass.

Sweet Basil is not companion to rue.

Green beans are not companion to onions, shallots, garlic, or fennel.
Bush beans are not planted with fennel, gladiolus, onions.
Pole Beans avoid onions, beets, kohlrabi.

Beech trees are not benefited by planting ferns or spruce.

Beets are not companion with pole beans, charlock, or field mustard.

Camomile avoids wheat or rye seedlings.

Avoid planting clover with buttercups, or henbane.

Cabbage is not benefited by strawberries.

Caraway doesn't do well with fennel or wormwood.

Cinquefoil doesn't prefer butternut, black walnut, or sugar maple trees.

Coriander is not to be planted with fennel.

Carrots don't go with dill.

Chickweed (a nutritional powerhouse) doesn't do well with rye nearby.

Cucumbers should avoid plantings near aromatic shrubs.

Fennel is not to be planted with bush beans, caraway, tomatoes, kohlrabi, or wormwood.

Flax should avoid companioning with false flax, or any bean seedlings,field bindweed, or Canada thistle.

Grapes don't companion with cypress or spurges.

Hyssop avoids radish.

Hedge mustard avoids turnips.

Kohlrabi should avoid planting near fennel.

Narcissus doesn't companion with lily of the valley.

Peach trees, oddly enough, don't seem to like the company of older peach trees while they're trying to reach maturity.

Peppermint doesn't go with camomile.

Pumpkin avoids potato.

Poppies avoid rye.

Pear trees do better without grass or spruce nearby.

Potatoes don't companion with cucumbers, orach, birch trees, sunflowers, pumpkins, or walnut trees.

Peas avoid garlic, onion, shallots, fladiolus, and early potatoes.

Quackgrass doesn't go with soybeans, tomatoes or 2 succesive crops of rye.

Roses don't go with boxwood.

Raspberries don't companion with blackberries.

Rapeplant doesn't go with hedge or field mustard.

Radishes avoid hyssop.

Sunflowers avoid potatoes.

Shrubs don't do well with salvia species or artemesia species.

Sesame avoids sorghum.

Strawberry doesn't companion with cabbage.

Sage doesn't go with wormwood.

Tomatoes should avoid planting next to rue, kohlrabi, cabbage family, dill, fennel, potatoes, or walnut trees.

Turnips avoid knotweed, and hedge mustard.

Wormwood avoids white mustard, deadly nightshade, fennel.

Wheat is very finicky and should not have the following planted nearby: buckwheat, cherry, violets, maple, wild pansy, pine, poppies, sorghum, camomile (in large amounts), dogwood, tulips, field bindweed, Canadian thistle.

edit on 12-4-2012 by whitewave because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:08 PM
Insect and Plant Controls

Ants are repelled by spearmint, tansy, pennyroyal (wish I'd planted some last year).

Aphids avoid nasturtium, spearmint, stinging nettle, southernwood, or garlic.

Mexican bean beetles don't like potatoes, or tagetes (marigolds).

Black fly are reduced with the addition of stinging nettle, rue or turnip root.

Cabbage worm butterfly is controlled by planting sage, rosemary, thyme, hyssop, mint, hemp, celery, wormwood, or southernwood.

Striped cucumber beetle is repelled by radish nearby.

Cutworms and June bug grubs avoid oak leaf mulch or tanbark (bark of trees high in tannin-oak, etc.)

Black flea beetle are reduced by wormwood, or mint. I've heard that planting lettuce is also effective but I don't know if it would be any type of lettuce or only a particular type.

Flies don't like hazelnut trees, rue, tansy, or a "spray" of wormwood &/or tomato (juice).

Japanese beetles avoid white geranium and datura. Datura are lovely flowers but because of the grandkids I won't plant it in my yard. I try to use the least toxic (to humans) thing I can find since I'm also teaching the grandkids about wild edibles and I don't want them to use their curiosity to sample something not meant for sampling.

Plant lice can be controlled with castor oil (or planting the castor bean-not recommended around small children), sassafrass, pennyroyal, or stinging nettle.

Mosquitos are repelled by sassafrass, castor, pennyroyal and, I've heard that legumes are effective. For personal (not garden) protection, the best thing I've found to deter mosquitos is yarrow extract in a spray. Works a treat. Since it's in an alcohol base, I haven't tried spraying it directly on any plants.

The mosquitos that carry malaria can be detered by wormwood, southernwood, rosemary, sage or mint. Not that I'd rely on that entirely but it's better than nothing.

Moths are repelled by stinging nettle leaves, lavender, tansy, wormwood, santolina, southernwood.

Colorado potato beetles and potato bugs don't like eggplant, flax, or green beans.

Squash bugs and wooly aphids avoid nasturtiums (and the nasturtiums are pretty next to the squash blossoms).

Weevils are repelled by garlic or wormwood.

The carrot fly is controlled with leeks, onions, black salsify, rosemary, sage, or sawdust mulch.

Mice and other rodents can be disuaded by dwarf elder leaves, everlasting pea, spearmint, spurge, sweet pea or an aggressive cat.

Powdery mildew is controlled by using a spray of horsetail tea or a "flour" made of mustard seed (you can get powdered mustard in the grocery store and just sprinkle it where you need it), sulphur dust, spraying with a chive "tea" or by companion planting cucumbers.

In addition to the already mentioned tagetes, nematodes are also controlled with wormwood or mint.

White fly avoids french marigold and nasturtiums.

Chive "tea" (as a spray) is good for gooseberry mildew, apple scab or brown rot. Garlic or onion also help to curb brown rot.

Monilia is reduced with a horseradish "tea" (spray).

Fungus diseases in general tend to respond to horsetail tea, quackgrass planted in affected areas or, my preferred-stinging nettle. Bacterial diseases respond to hyssop "teas", or pine needle mulch. We don't have a lot of pine trees in my area (mostly red cedars) so when I run across pine trees, I usually collect enough for a stash of tea, not garden spray but if you have access to a plentiful amount of pine needles and are troubled with plant diseases in your garden, you might give it a try. Viral diseases (in tomatoes) were once destroyed by a spray of milk. I've noticed that milk in the fridge goes sour a LOT quicker than it used to so I'm not sure what's being done to milk or if it would still be effective again tomato viruses. I didn't have any problems with last year's tomatoes so didn't have reason to test it.

Gnats are repelled with pennyroyal (or yarrow).

If you have a problem with rabbits in your garden, plant a border of onions around it. Slugs can be kept at bay by a mulch of tan bark or oak leaves, wormwood tea, wood ashes, beer (wasteful!) or quicklime.

Carrotworm butterfly avoids rosemary.

Cucumber gray mildew is subdued with a tea made of stinging nettles. Stinging nettles are also good for coccidiosis (as is a tea made of dandelion greens). I hate to use my good edibles for pest control but I guess it's better than losing the entire garden to the pests.

When I first started the garden, the soil was HARD-packed red clay suitable only for making bricks but in only 2 years it's producing where (and what) other gardens are not. Still prefer foraging over gardening but knowledge of both is useful.

*originally posted on P2S*

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by whitewave

Very useful information and I will keep this mind when
I plant a garden.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:24 PM
definately something we all have to focus on more. i know this is what i'm trying to improve on. a little hard to go through this post and remember, but good direction

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by mamabeth

Thanks. This info complements the biodynamics method of farming for smaller scale gardening. Biodynamics is what's undoing the disastrous damage done to the soil in India from Monsanto (without the Rudolph Steiner voodoo). LOL.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by Nephlim

Feel free to print it out or copy/pasta it to your personal folder. I'm always having to refer to my notes because I can't remember everything either. Before I eat any foraged foods, I look it up in ALL my source references. I'm planting more "wild" foods in the garden because I suspect that foraging competition will become fierce in the coming months. Plus, it makes "foraging" a lot more convenient. Hehehe.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 04:19 PM
A huge "thank you" for all your work. I'm a "wanna-be" gardener on her 3rd year. Been looking for good info on companion planting. THANK YOU!

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 05:23 AM
reply to post by whitewave

This is awesome!! Been speaking about this a lot lately... My uncle and I are gonna be building a semi-large green-house this winter, to prepare for spring (S. Hemisphere
) and I was gonna search for some good info. Looks like you've done my work for me. Glad I stumbled onto your thread
This will be put to good use, thank you!!

PS, do you have any sources/links for further reading?
edit on 2012/4/13 by Jimjolnir because: ^^

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 08:11 AM

posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 02:32 PM
Thanks to all for the kind words. The one book specifically on companion planting I have is called "Companion Planting" and it's an old book. The multitude of literature I scoured studying plants has led me to the rest. I've seen (but not purchased) a book in Barnes and Noble called "Carrots love Tomatoes" and I suspect it's got similar information. If you decide to get the book, let me know if there's something I missed.

Will be posting info on drought resistant plants next week for them that need/want it. Walking by the newspaper stand today, one of the headlines read "Drought continues to sweep the nation". It was horrible last year. The grass was crunchy! All the ponds, lakes, rivers dropped to alarming levels. Some dried up altogether. I want to know where I can find food when the crops fail and what little remains from the fields is too expensive to buy.

Oklahoma has a surprising amount of drought tolerant plants here. I'll put the list together next week.

Am also interested in hearing of anyone's experience with companion planting and how it's worked for you.

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